E-Learning initiative by Cisco Systems sets the pace for industry

by Joe Rebeiro, ZDNetAsia.The formation of the first Cisco Academy Training Center in ASEAN and 20 Scholarships forCisco Networking Academy Program augurs the beginning of e-learning initiatives from the industry leaders.
Written by Joe Rebeiro, Contributor

by Joe Rebeiro, ZDNetAsia.

The formation of the first Cisco Academy Training Center in ASEAN and 20 Scholarships for Cisco Networking Academy Program augurs the beginning of e-learning initiatives from the industry leaders.

SINGAPORE, May 9, 2000 - The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore(IDA), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Cisco Systems, Inc., today announced an initiative that will see the first Cisco Academy Training Center (CATC) in ASEAN and sponsorship from the Government, NTU and Cisco Systems for students to take up scholarships for an advanced level of the Cisco Networking Academy Program.

NTU is to become the first CATC in ASEAN, supporting and managing over 180 Cisco Networking Academies in the region. The Cisco Networking Academy (CCNA) program is a comprehensive e-learning system that covers the principles and practice of designing, building, and maintaining computer networks.

Cisco Systems and NTU will also collaborate in e-learning, by extending the experience and knowledge from the Cisco Networking Academy Program into the NTU environment. In Singapore alone, there are already more than 600 students in several secondary schools, ITEs and polytechnics who are going through the CCNA program. By the end of the year, this pool is expected to number well over 1,000.

As the CATC in ASEAN, NTU will manage and support these as well as other Cisco Networking Academies around the region. NTU will also run an advanced Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification program. This e-learning model would by itself contribute significantly to enlarging the pool of networking expertise in the info-communications technology industry.

In addition, 20 scholarships will be offered to students to attend the advanced level of Cisco Networking Academy Program at the CATC, leading to Cisco Certified Professional (CCNP) certification. The aim of the Government and the industry for giving such scholarships is to attract qualified international talent as well as to train the local pool of infocomm talent in networking skills.

The on-line training delivery method which the CATC adopts to supplement classroom training aims to establish Singapore as an e-Learning Hub. The reason being that, this model provides an effective platform for constant renewal of skills and makes it possible to extend their reach to students around the region in economies that face manpower shortage as well. "IDA is committed to seeing more of such partnerships forged between our local Institutes of Higher Learning and the industry." said Dr Kaizad Heerjee, IDAs Assistant Chief Executive for Online Development.

In collaborating with Cisco in providing the CCNA and CCNP programs, NTU aims to meet industry needs both in terms of manpower and in adopting the latest technologies. As the CATC for ASEAN, NTU is well placed to become the platform for e-learning in the region. Fueled by the size of the program and the geographical coverage of the framework, NTU hopes to leverage on Cisco's experience and expertise to develop an expandable and scalable e-learning framework for professors and students in the region.

"We examined the Cisco Networking Academy Program closely, and found it to be an excellent model for e-learning as well as a good vehicle for imparting vital skills and knowledge in an increasingly important area, the Internet." said Professor Er Meng Hwa, Deputy President and Dean of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, NTU.

NTU is no newcomer to the e-learning fray. To date, it has already developed and implemented an e-service portal called GEMS (Gateway to Electronic Media Services) - a one-stop access to a variety of digital information resources such as online databases, electronic publications, and audiovisual and multimedia content. GEMS has enabled such resources to be fully integrated into the teaching environment. Coupled with a campus network of about 14,000 network points and Gigabit Ethernet, the e-learning model provided by Cisco Systems would undoubtedly establish NTU as the leader in e-learning in the region.

IDA hopes that this collaboration between Cisco Systems, NTU and IDA would lead to more such e-learning initiatives from the industry in the coming months. - ZDNetAsia.

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